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Full text of "The church, our modern system of commerce, and the fulfillment of prophecy"

THE CHURCH, OUE MODERN SYSTEM OF 

COMMERCE, AND THE FULFILMENT OF 

PROPHECY, 

$¥ William Brown. 



In my paper on the subject of Interest I used the following Ian. 
guage — "Viewed as to the magnitude of their results, the two 
greatest facts in modern times are, the destruction of the world's 
money by the issue of paper currency ) and the degradation of the world's 
industry by the lending of that currency on interest." 

I quote the passage here, because it is my desire to impress upon 
the mind of the reader that the more thoroughly we understand 
the economic bearings of these two important facts, the nearer we 
arrive at a solution of the great problems now agitating the world 
of industry. 

In that paper, as far as my space would allow, I endeavored to 
shew the grounds on which we must ever regard the precious metals 
as having been intended by nature to fulfil the functions of what we 
understand by the term " money." I considered labor as the one 
essential principle which confers upon them their value, and which 
guarantees absolute security to industry in all its exchanges. I 
further endeavored to shew that paper currency is a general 
suspension of payment, that it is impossible it can ever effect a 
payment, that it trades on industry and uses the capital of industry 
without recompense, and that the natural results of such a system 
of deceit and wickedness is seen in the widespread degradation and 
poverty of our working millions. The very essence and life of a 
paper currency, and of the system in general connected with that 
currency, is to suspend payment, and thus it lives and gathers in 
from labor without giving anything in return. These, and many 
other points of the deepest importance, I have elaborated with 
some fulness in my "New Catechism on Political Economy," a 
short work which I would crave the reader to peruse as a sort of 
introduction to the following pages. For it is indeed a necessary 
and preliminary step to the proper understanding of the prophetic 
visions to which I am about to refer, that we make ourselves 
familiar with the true principles of political economy. Thus also 
will we be placed upon our guard against that strange mixture of 
truth and error which distinguishes the writings of so many of the 
expounders of the modern or paper school, and be able to com? 
prehend how the ruin and degradation of industry have followed as 
the natural and inevitable results of the extensive violation of these 
true principles. 

My object in this paper is, in a few brief sentences, to draw the 
attention of the Church, and especially of the ministers of Christ, to 
some scripture prophecies which I regard as having their literal and 
exact fulfilment in our modern system of commerce, banking, and 
currency. There can be no doubt that the Bible, in many passages, 
points to a vast system which should arise in the latter days, 
unparalleled in its destruction and in its disastrous effects on the 



human family, unsurpassed in wickedness, and so universal as to 
embrace the civilized world. Our modern system of commerce, in 
its terrible and unceasing oppression of all who toil, answers the 
requirements of these prophecies to the letter. 

The first prophecy to which I refer is contained in the fifth chapter 
of Zechariah. 

The Ephah and Flying Roll. 

This short chapter is a study by itself. Every verse is full of 
meaning. There can be no mistaking the scope of the prophecy. It 
exhibits the corruption of commerce as typified by the woman 
sitting in the midst of the Ephah, the well-known measure of the 
Jews. A woman is set forth here, as well as in the kindred visions 
in the Revelation of Saint John, as prolific of all evil, a mother of all 
abominations of the earth. She occupies the Ephah, sits in the midst 
of it, brings all commerce under her sway, corrupts all exchanges, 
ruins the industry of the world, and robs the toilers of their just 
rewards. She takes away the lawful and labor-earned money of 
industry, and by her shameless substitution of paper, and the 
universal practice of usury (or interest), trades upon the industry 
of the world's population, and thus brings forth misery, poverty, and 
crime, in an ever-flowing and augmenting stream. The short and 
pointed expression of the Angel, " this is wickedness " (see also 
2nd Thess. ii. 8) warns us of a system pre-eminent for its 
vilecess, and as excelling all others in its deceit and sinfulness. 
Other systems may have some elements of goodness calculated 
to preserve them from ruin or decay; but this that goeth 
forth is concentrated wickedness, without one redeeming feature to 
avert or stay its impending doom. The prophet at first sees the 
flying roll, and is told that it represents "the curse that goeth forth 
over the face of the whole earth; for everyone that stealeth shall be 
cut off as on this side according to it, and every one that sweareth 
shall be cut off as on that side according to it." Faithful old Bible ! 
There is no mincing of words here. Things are called by their right 
names. This curse is like a two-edged sword. It singles out just 
the two prominent sins of our modern system — the robbery of the 
poor toilers, and the false claims it sets up. God's command is, 
Thou shalt not lend upon usury, — if your covetousness is so great 
that you will not be restrained, then make the stranger your victim, 
not your brethren and kindred. This modern Babylon says, It is 
good to lend upon usury, not only to our brother, but to all and 
sundry — these commands were for the poor ignorant Jews, not for 
educated, trading, and intelligent christian people. The Church 
echoes the sentiment, and thus, sad to think, " swears falsely by His 
name" (verse 4th). Babylon says, The money which God has pro- 
vided for the industry of the world is not good — there has been an 
error about it — it is too heavy — there is not enough of it — it costs 
much labor to obtain it — take my promises to pay you for the labor 
you give me, — they are far better ; true, I give you no labor or service 
in return for what you give me, only bits of paper ; and I promise 
to pay you that which is too heavy ; or which is too costly to 
obtain; or uselesss when it is obtained; or which is deficient in 
quantity; or which, compared with the amount of my " promises," 
may have no existence at all ; but these promises will circulate from 
hand to hand and that is enough. Labor asks for bread — there is 
thus given to it a stone. The Church approves. Can we wonder 



that the Lord of hosts should threaten to the prophet to send this 
curse, this flying roll, into our houses, till they are consumed, ll with 
the timber thereof, and the stones thereof." 

The casting of the talent of lead upon the mouth of the Ephah 
reminds us of a similar act of indignation on the part of the angel 
in the 18th Chapter of Revelation — the casting of the stone like a 
great millstone into the sea. Both equally represent the closing of 
Babylon's long and terrible career. The Ephah must no longer be 
falsified. It is sealed, as it were, with this ponderous weight. The 
prophet sees two women, the wind in their wings, lifting it up and 
bearing it swiftly away. He enquires, "whither do these bear the 
Ephah ?" How significant the response, " To build it a house in the 
land of Shinar ; and it shall be established and set there upon her 
own base." The Ephah must be taken to a land where wisdom is 
known to prevail — it must no longer be left amongst a sottish, 
prejudiced, and covetous people — the long reign of tyranny and 
oppression must now close — it is in the land of Shinar, of wisdom, 
that the Ephah must be established and set upon her own base. The 
industrial interests of the human family are of too stupendous a 
character longer to allow the Ephah to rest on a base of falsehood 
and deceit — panics, convulsions, and upheavings, have had no effect 
in unseating the woman or in bringing men to wise reflection — it will 
now be removed altogether to a land where wisdom shall build for 
it ll a house," and hew out for it her " seven pillars ;" where our 
Maker shall be no longer reproached by the oppression of the poor ; 
and where the " just weight" shall prevail which is ever the Lord's 
delight. 

Thus would God, by these significant symbols, draw the minds of 
His children to sober and thoughtful reflection. Shall we be dis- 
obedient to the heavenly vision ? 

Deut. xxiii. 19 " Thou shalt not lend upon usury (or interest) to 
thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything 
that is lent upon usury." 

Though not a prophetic utterance, I think it well, just at this 
point, to make a few remarks on these words of Scripture. In my 
4 ' Thoughts " I have given full consideration to this and kindred 
passages. 

This verse contains the true principles of economic science. 
People may have been accustomed to read it carelessly, and to set 
it aside as something effete with which modern society has nothing 
to do. Society has to do with it, and the Church will ere long be 
compelled to explore its profound depths. There is matter here for 
the most penetrating intellect. The man who, in blind confidence 
with what passes around him, is determined to believe that paper is 
money, and that to lend that paper on interest is a blessing to 
humanity, may as well pass it by. It is difficult, indeed impossible, 
to interpret it, unless we thoroughly understand the true elements of 
political economy. It is the chief corner stone on which the whole 
structure of industrial progress and happiness, of entire humanity 
in its economic features, will yet be fitly framed together. It recog- 
nises the following elementary truths. 

Utilities are all gratuitous — free gifts from God. 

Money, as a so-called instrument of exchange, is entirely gratui- 
tous in its work — nobody can pay for that service. 

kabor can onlv pay for labor ? service for service, 



Labor has never given any thing for utilities, therefore utilities 
cannot be sold. Industry, consequently, as a productive agent, can 
never pay for the use of property of any kind — a great economic 
truth which, it will be yet seen, cuts to the root the claims of capi- 
tal, so called. 

In selling any product, it is virtually the labor contained in the 
product which is sold. All else comes gratuitously. 

Labor cannot pay more for any product than the amount of labor 
embodied in that product. It cannot pay more on the ground of 
" credit " being given for, say three, six, or twelve months, whether 
for money, goods, or victuals. If goods, the products of industry, 
are sold at an enhanced price on account of credit being given, labor 
must suffer. 

Machinery, or in other words the workman's tools or appliances, 
can never receive any reward separate from the hands which wield 
that machinery. There can never be two profits, or half a profit, 
one for labor and one for its tools. The man who ceases to ivork, 
ceases to come within the range of the laws of political economy. 
Such is a righteous and equitable law. A system which recognises 
arew r ard for the workman, and another for his tools, will soon issue 
in the machinery, the property, passing out of the hands of the 
workman into the hands of others. The real producers will then 
soon degenerate into mere hired hands. 

It is the design of God that every man should own the fruits of 
his own labor, and that mere money should constitute but a small 
proportion of these fruits, seeing it is only a medium of exchange 
and useless for any other purpose, and that there is but a small por- 
tion for each of the world's population, but yet, by a well known econ- 
omic law, always quite enough for his use as a producer desirous of 
exchanging the wnole or a part of the fruits of his toil. 

The land is to be owned by the men who cultivate it, not rented 
from another w ho does not cultivate it. If labor works the land and 
pays rent at the same time, it must be oppressed. 

Money is absolutely unproductive — it produces nothing. 

Money, as such, does not pay — it is the labor in the money which 
really pays. 

Money cannot yield what is known under the name of interest. 

If interest of money is exacted, labor must suffer. 

In every act of exchange, the profit is on the side of the man with 
the labor, not on the side of the man who only gives a bit of money 
on which he has bestowed no labor (see this important truth fully 
set forth in my New Catechism.) 

When the money w r hich is paid for anything hired (a house for 
example) equals in its labor value the amount of similar value 
actually embodied in the commodity, the thing hired has then been 
fully paid for ; and this on the grounds that money cannot produce, 
that utilities are gratuitous, and that payment withheld cannot 
increase the value of products of labor. 

A general system of hiring, whether of men's frames or of the 
products of their labor, is an evil and corrupting system for the 
human race, contrary to the designs of God, and opposed to the true 
dignity of man as well as to the principles of economic science. 

These are a few of the grand truths embodied in the above words 
of Scripture— a verse in the midst of the oracles of God neglected and 
almost forgotten by the Church, 



Wisdom. 

Revelation xiii. 18 — "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath under- 
standing count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a 
man ; and his number is six hundred, three score and six," 

What fanciful interpretations have been set forth, first and last, re- 
garding this verse. It was for a long time sealed to me, because I 
sought to find in it that which it does not contain. Like many others 
before me, I fell wide of the mark and lost the spirit of the verse in 
seeking to identify the beast with some special number or mark. 

It refers to no mysterious number, mark or sign. It directs the 
thoughtful student to something better and far more instructive than 
mere cabbalism. It would be derogatory of the character of scrip- 
ture revelation to imagine that some sort of riddle or " guess " had 
been propounded us. over the meaning of which the veriest dunce 
might successfully stumble. The interpretation is simply this. Let 
the man of understanding investigate for himself the work of this 
evil system — let him thoughtfully consider its doings — let him 
count up the number of the abominations to which it has given 
birth — let him carefully reckon the misery, the oppression, the 
crime, the degradation, the ignorance, the warfare and bloodshed, 
all the evils combined, which have flowed to the human race from its 
long and dreadful career, especially as we see tbem developed in 
these later times, and in those great cities to the unhealthy growth of 
which it has so largely contributed. Let a man be conversant with 
these various forms of evil and the source from which they spring — 
let him thoroughly master the subject, and he will be deserving ot 
the name of a wise man. For our God declares that this is wisdom — 
to know what the beast has brought forth. Is it a large number? 
Yes. Is it six? Yes. Is it sixty ? Yes. Is it six hundred? Yes, — 
a great number. And it is " the number of a man." That is, it is 
not beyond human comprehension — it is within the grasp of our 
intellects. The diligent student may, in large measure, reckon them 
up, and arrive at some just apprehension of the bearing and influ- 
ence upon the race of thismysterious system of iniquity, undoubtedly 
the last and greatest with which our world is to be afflicted. 

ye ministers of our God, let me appeal to you. It is your wis- 
dom and safety to begin the study. Make yourselves acquainted 
with those precious economic laws under which a wise and merciful 
Providence has designed that humanity is to work out its great 
destiny. Make yourselves familiar, as far as you can, with the man- 
ner in which these laws have been violated by modern banking arid 
commerce. Do you wish to know the cause why our churches are 
so cold and why the Holy Spirit is withheld ? study this system. 
Do you wish to know why the working millions are banished from 
the sanctuary, and why our overgrow T n cities are teeming with vice? 
study this system. Do you wish to know why it is that so little 
impression is made on the heathen world? study this system. To 
be ignorant of it is death, — to be wise is life. Do not suffer your- 
selves to be led astray by the plausible statements of those who 
strive to uphold it. Most people, you know, consider themselves to 
be born economists. I beseech you, be upon your guard against that 
delusion. Determine to learn. Thought must be given to the sub- 
ject, and in solitude and silence it must be learned. You will gain 
little amidst the hurry and fuss of conventions and assemblies. 
You are bound, by the highest considerations, to understand the 



economic laws bearing upon the industry of jour people. To be 
ignorant here is criminal neglect. Most of what you think you 
know must be unlearned that you may truly learn. Mighty ques- 
tions are looming up before us which one way or other will compel 
your attention. Rest assured you will be wise men as you are able 
to count the number of the beast. Do not waste time with silly 
applications of Greek and Hebrew words. It is at your peril that 
y< u neglect the question. If you do not master the subject, it will 
master you in a way that you little anticipate. A groaning and 
afflicted world stretches forth its hands to you for deliverance. 
Will patient and defenceless industry for ever appeal to you in 
vain? 



Rev. xiv. 11 — u And they have no rest day nor night who worship 
the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his 
name." 

Never has there been a prophecy more thoroughly and literally 
fulfilled. Is not the present the age of unrest? Are not men univer- 
sally disquieted? Day and night the men of commerce are disturbed. 
Forebodings and fears are the inevitable portion of all who lend 
and of all who borrow. They come as the natural results of the 
system. Have the poor toilers rest — those on whom the mighty 
burden, in its most grievous form, principally falls? Is there rest for 
the hapless debtor who is conscious of his dishonorable position, and 
struggles on throughout a joyless lifetime in the vain hope of deliv- 
erance ? If we " worship n the beast — if we in any way take part in 
the work, or receive the dreadful mark in the forehead, the seat of 
intelligence, or in the hand, the seat of labor, we shall surely have 
what we deserve, restlessness, anxiety, care, worry, disappointments, 
griefs, and forebodings of evil. Is it strange that it should be so? 
It is not strange. As we sow we shall reap. Thousands and tens of 
thousands of broken hearts must echo these true and faithful words 
of a holy and righteous God. There is hardly a countenance you 
scan as the crowds hurriedly pass you on the street but seems to 
whisper to you, " God's words are all true, His threatenings as well 
as His promises. Ours is a furnace toil. We have no rest." 

What God says of Modern Commerce. 

Rev. xviii. 2 — " Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is 
become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, 
and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." 

2nd. Thess. ii. 8— " And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom 
the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall de- 
stroy with the brightness of his coming." 

Here is a loathsome picture for you. Can any good thing 
come out of Babylon ? No, nothing good. It is wholly given 
over to evil. Attempt reformation with such a system? Vain 
thought, Its end is destruction. Commerce in itself is hon- 
orable, Exchange is a necessary element in the life and well- 
being of the human famity. Industry is destined yet to play 
a mighty part in the subjugation of the world to Christ, for it is 
the daily sacrifice of labor which will be mainly employed and most 
largely blest in this great w T ork. Corrupt these as Babylon has 
done, and the sea of human life will become " as the blood of a dead 
man." This modern system has gone to such extremes, and Satan 



has so cunningly deceived all nations regarding it, that it has 
become a hold of every foul spirit, a favorite habitation of devils, a 
cage of all uncleanness. It is the one great field in the world in 
which the devil lays his most artful wiles for the destruction of 
mankind. A mighty enterprise is before him, nothing less than the 
subjugation of the whole world of industry, and it falls at last in 
willing homage at his feet. He reasons with consummate wisdom 
when he forms and gradually unfolds this grand conspiracy against 
the liberties and happiness of our race. I shall cause (we can imagine 
him saying) the gold and the silver, the vast resources of the 
industry of all lands, to be poured at the feet of a harlot — I shall 
divert these resources from their lawful channels of blessing for the 
human race, and apply them where they will not fail to corrupt 
mankind — I shall cause every man to receive a mark which will 
cloud his intelligence, or rob him of the reward and profit of his toil 
— the multitudes I will thus clothe with ignorance, poverty, and 
rags ; the few I will adorn with purple and fine linen — Let me not 
only have, by means of usury, a portion of the labor of the race, but 
let me have, by means of a fictitious currency, the industry of the 
whole world placed in my power — I shall thus sit, as God, in the 
temple of God, shewing myself that I am God— I will use such 
curious arts that the nations shall be deceived, commerce itself shall 
be degraded into a vast theatre of gambling, the Church shall be 
overcome, and even the ministers of religion shall extol and applaud 
my doings— and, chief of all my enterprise, I will by these means 
not only corrupt modern civilisation, causing its polluted stream to 
debauch every shore whither it flows, but arrest the flight of the 
everlasting Gospel, and keep countless millions shrouded in heathen 
darkness. Here, on such a field, evil spirits innumerable hold their 
revel ; here the Church has participated in the Great Crime of the 
r.iinof industry, and here the death struggle will take place. This 
mother of all abominations is destined to give birth to so many 
successive forms of iniquity that her sins will yet reach unto heaven. 
Her destruction, therefore, is only a question of time. Lord, fill us 
with a holy jealousy lest we be found in such companionship. 

The Subjugation of the Church, 

Rev. xiii. 7—" And it was given unto him to make war with the 
saints, and to overcome them." 

Rev. xvii. 6— "And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of 
the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." 

Daniel vii. 21 — "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the 
saints, and prevailed against them." Verse 25 — " He shall wear out 
the saints of the Most High." 

Ezekiel xxviii. 18 — " Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the 
iniquity of thy traffic." 

There can be no doubt about the fulfilment of these prophecies. For 
hundreds of years the Church was faithful in her antagonism to the 
spirit of usury. Her discipline was severe, and she uttered no uncer- 
tain sound. Long and nersistent " war " was made upon her by the 
spirit of covetousness and gain. Gradually she gave way. The 
world at last prevailed. It is now some centuries since she ceased 
all opposition, and fell in with ;those practices which she had so 
strenuously condemned. It is a matter of history. And now the 
saints are completely overcome. The Churoh is as thorough a 



worshipper of the beast as any follower of mammon. Her religioii3 
journals are amongst the foremost in its defence. She lends it, in 
every way, her countenance and support, and in fact lives from its 
illgotten gains. Her funds and investments, her stocks, and inter- 
ests, and mortgages, tell but too surely which side has been van- 
quished in this great spiritual war. Her colleges of learning 
emulate the daughter of the horse leech in their constant cry, for 
they seem never to have enough let their endowments be ever so 
great. The Protestant branch has followed the beast without any 
restraint, and has worshipped him with the utmost infatuation. 
She has no idea that the scourge applied by the Saviour in the 
temple has any reference to these days or to her acts. Through her 
erroneous exposition of the Mosaic laws bearing on the subject, she 
has made the word of God of none effect, and flattered men into the 
belief that in violating these laws they were doing God service. 
The woman is "intoxicated " with the very life blood of the Church. 
Hence we have the warning voice from heaven in 

Rev. xviii. 4 — " Come out of her, my people, that ye be not par- 
takers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." 

Jer. li. 45— " My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver 
ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord." 

Will we give ear to the appeal ? [t is a voice from heaven itself. 
It recognises the fact that God's children are deeply immersed in 
the system. Here is the only path of safety. Come out and you will 
be safe. Remain, and you and yours will surely partake of her 
plagues. Though you are involved and ensnared by this foul 
system, God still yearns over you and claims you as His children. 
Therefore give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids, 
till thou hast delivered thyself as a bird from the hand of the fowler. 
Listen to God's affectionate entreaty. He sees us in imminent 
peril, and appeals to us with the earnestness of a loving father. 
Modern commerce sits upon a volcano. He would have us in a 
place of safety ere sudden destruction cometh. We must count the 
cost, and leave the system utterly, whatever that cost may be. Guilty 
contact with the beast must be avoided at all hazards. 

The drying up of Euphrates. 

Rev. xvi. 12—" And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the 
great river Euphrates ; and the water thereof was dried up, that 
the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." 

As the Euphrates was the stream beside which ancient Babylon 
reared its walls and established its dominion, so here it is used as 
the expressive emblem of that great stream of commerce on which 
modern Babylon has reared its mighty kingdom. The whore 
sitteth " upon many waters." Commerce, now vitiated and cor- 
rupted in all its exchanges, is the instrument through which the 
hard hand of toil is compelled to clothe the whore in purple and 
scarlet array, and to deck her with gold, and precious stones, and 
pearls. But it is necessary, in the interests of humanity, that this 
great river be dried up. It is a corrupt and corrupting stream. If 
it be allowed to flow on, mankind will at last perish from the earth. 
n No flesh will be saved." There is an impassable gulf between the 
true theory of political economy and our modern mercantile system. 
The sixth angel therefore pours his vial on these waters and they are 
dried up, That is, as I suppose, false ideas and corrupt practices 



Will give way before the advance of true, wise, and righteous 
principles. The way of the kings of the east will be thus prepared. 
The human race must not be forsaken. It must be indoctrinated 
with the principles of justice, equity, and truth. In the words of 
Ezekiel, men of continual employment must be severed for this 
work, till the last offensive relic of the foul system is buried out of 
sight, and the land thoroughly cleansed ; a good work in which the 
u passengers," the men of commerce, shall themselves at last delight 
to aid. The wise and the good are the only real kings among men. 
They come with the brightness of the eastern sky. The world 
waits in earnest expectation. Methinks I hear the tread of their 
stately steps. Hasten your coming, ye kings of the east. 

The Fifth Angel and his viah 

Rev. xv. 10, 11 — " And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the 
seat of the beast ; and his kingdom was full of darkness ; and they 
gnawed their tongues for pain. And blasphemed the God of heaven, 
because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their 



What a description of a widespread commercial panic I The angel 
pours out his vial upon the seat of the beast ; upon the leading 
monied centres, so called, of this proud Babylon, and forthwith the 
boastful kingdom is full of darkness. There is no light now to be 
had. Every man suspects his fellow. This great communistic 
system is in peril. A mighty one falls and hundreds are involved 
in his ruin. They grope like the blind for the wall. They 
run to and fro in an agony of fears. They are at their wits 
end. They know not at what they stumble. Each one blames 
the other for the existence of the panic, and like silly children 
of the market place they attribute it to every cause but the right 
one. The men of commerce affected to despise the gold and the 
silver, but there is now a cry for these which shakes the whole land. 
The boastful tongue of proud Babylon is now gnawed for very 
pain. Do we now repent of our deeds? Alas ! No, We still "blas- 
pheme," speak evil of God's beneficent laws. By and by His avenging 
hand is removed. Alas ! it has all been of no avail. We return to 
our evil deeds like the dog to his vomit. Babylon the great, the Bible 
tells us, is endowed with " a mouth speaking great things." Of that 
there can be no doubt. As she t els her throne become somewhat 
secure after its fearful rockin^s and that some " respite" is granted, 
she is not long in boastfully repeating, " I sit a queen, and am no 
widow, and shall see no sorrow. ;; She that is so appropriately denom- 
inated Mystery will continue her dreadful work, blinding and 
deceiving the minds of men, and defying high heaven, till the day of 
her final and sudden destruction arrives. Then her eager worshippers 
will no longer doubt, and will be able to boast no more, as they 
witness the smoke of her burning, but will be glad, if possible, to 
stand afar off in the extremity of their fear and dismay. 

How affecting is the thought that the vast majority, apparently, 
of the human family, will only be awakened to a sense of the guilt 
of the system through which the riches of the world have been 
amassed and gathered out of the toilers' hands, by the sudden and 
complete destruction of these very riches before their eyes. For 
Pharoah and his host there is nothing but the overwhelming waves. 
What a lesson to those who know that they must shortly stand 



10 

before the judgment seat of Christ to give in their account! 
How scrupulously careful ought we to be in giving value for value,- 
and how careful and rigid ought our examination to prove of that 
system under which we have been educated, and in which we have 
been accustomed to believe without question or hesitation. 

The blessed dead and their labors. 

Rev. xiv. 13—" And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, 
Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth : 
Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors ; and their 
w T orks do follow them." 

Often have I wondered why a verse, whose contents are appar- 
ently so foreign to the context, has been introduced just in the midst 
of these visions of smoke and torment and fire and blood. Does it not 
appear strange— the blessed cheering words of comfort and hope and 
rest entertwined with these fiery scrolls ? Ah ! there is need for it. 
The days of vengeance are approaching — days of trial for all, and 
especially for those who are set for the defence of the truth. The 
Church has a terrible conflict before her when she comes to confront 
this great system of iniquity. It is well that John was commanded 
to write these comforting words. They will be needed by those 
who are found faithful to the cause of truth and righteousness. 
From henceforth great will be the blessedness of those who die in the 
Lord, abundant will be their rest and reward, because/rom henceforth 
great will be their trials and labors. 

"And their works do follow them." How disheartening and 
cheerless a thing it is when we receive no fruit in return for our 
labor. The husbandman knows it well who sees the fruits of the 
earth devoured by God's great army before his eyes. The poor 
toiler knows it well who gives his physical strength in arduous 
work from day to day, and lives and dies in cheerless penury, the 
wealth which he creates passing continually away into the hands 
of others. Even hope is quenched within him as he sees his chil- 
dren doomed to the same inevitable fate. But here is a promise 
from the mouth of God, that, of the works of those " who keep the 
commandments of God and the faith of Jesus," not one shall be 
fruitless. These works shall all follow them laden with the richest 
blessings for their fellowmen. Ministers of the sanctuary ! Think 
of your reward if you are found faithful in confronting this 
modern Babylon, this great enemy of God and man. Get but the 
victory over the beast, and it will be yours to stand on the sea of 
glass with the harps of God, and to sing the song of Moses and the 
song of the Lamb. 

The fate of those who worship the beast. 

Rev. xiv. 9, 10, 11 — "And the third angel followed them, saying 
with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, 
and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand : the same shall 
drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without 
mixture into the cup of his indignation ; and he shall be tormented 
with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in 
the presence of the Lamb : and the smoke of their torment ascend- 
eth up for ever and ever." 

What terrible utterances ! They just precede the words of comfort 



11 

and blessing we have last considered. The times of this ignorance 
God hath winked at, but now commandeth men everywhere to 
repent. Let the worshippers of the beast, the active upholders of 
this system, read and tremble, for well they may. There is not a 
more dreadful imprecation in all the Scriptures than in these solemn 
sentences. They let us know, beyond any doubt, what God thinks 
of the system. Could human language frame anything more dread- 
ful to be sounded into the ears of pastors, of church-goers, of church 
office-bearers, of respectable and well-to-do members of society. 
let us be careful that we afflict not the poor nor injure labor 
Let us not be the active agents in creating poverty and misery, 
instead of plenty and happiness. Ignorance or indifference will 
not excuse us. Let us see to it that in all our dealings we strive to 
give personal service to the full, the only way by which we can escape 
this mark which excites so great displeasure in the mind of God. 
Let not our precious time be spent in corrupting industry and 
exchange — in taking away from the poor toilers their hard earned 
gains by the manipulation of a few pieces of paper. Poverty is far to 
be preferred before wealth drawn out of unrequited labor. The one 
may cause some discomfort for a few fleeting years, the other is 
associated, as God assures us, with a torment which ascendeth up 
for ever and ever. my Christian brother, it is over you I yearn, 
and it is you I would endeavor faithfully to warn. Let the loud 
voice of the third angel not pass unheeded. Depend upon it, these 
threatenings are not uttered in vain. They require, you, reader, 
whoever you are, to examine where you stand in relation to our 
modern system of traffic. God grant that you may hear and obey, 
and thus escape the awful condemnation set forth in these letters of 
fire. Take care, I beseech you, that you flatter not yourself with 
the idea that it refers to some other church than the one to which 
you belong — that church perhaps in many respects a model to your 
own — or to something less respectable than the things now so much 
esteemed among men. "He that by usury (lending on interest) 
and unjust gain, increaseth his substance" — he who practically aids 
in destroying the money which God has given for the reward and 
protection of labor — stands, as I solemnly believe, in a most perilous 
position. 

The black horse and his rider. 

Rev. vi. 5, 6 — " And when he had opened the third seal, I heard 
the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo, a black 
horse : and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand." 

" And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A mea- 
sure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny ; 
and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." 

A commercial vision. 

Two things are evidently taught us here. First, God would have 
his Church remember the spirit of equity with which all commercial 
transactions should be undertaken. There are relative values estab- 
lished by the sweat of the brow. One article of labor must neces- 
sarily bear a certain labor relation to every other product of labor. 
There is no absolute measure of value. Human labor, in its innumer- 
able exchanges, must constantly measure itself. Your labor, in its 
exchangeable value, must submit to be measured by all other labor. 
One measure of wheat is worth a penny, and three measures of 
barley are worth a penny. Three times more toil are necessary to 



12 

produce a measure of wheat than a measure of barley. A penny, 
three measures of barley, and one measure of wheat, are of relative 
values. The same labor which produces a penny, produces one 
measure of wheat, and three of barley. The balances in the hand of 
the rider present an even beam, and the producers of these com- 
modities receive each a fair reward. It is in reality human labor, in 
the wasting of its physical strength and energy, which is weighed 
by the rider on the black horse. And not only would he have us fix 
our attention on labor as the only source of all value in exchange, 
but selects the most precious products to illustrate what he has to 
say— the wheat and barley, the wine and the oil. He would thereby 
have us reflect that the producers of these staples of life are the 
most valuable of all workers, and should be always fully rewarded. 

The black horse, expositors have remarked, represents national 
calamities. There may be meaning, therefore, in setting this rider 
upon a horse of that color. 

Second — " See thou hurt not the oil and the wine." Industry may 
be ruined by an uneven balance. Evidently an injunction to us to 
be careful— to seek no more in return for our labor than that labor 
deserves — to give measure for measure, value for value, labor lor 
labor. The oil, the wine, and the money are precious — the goodly 
fruits of the earth must be cherished. God gives them for our com- 
fort and sustenance, and has made an indissoluble connection be- 
tween the advancement and elevation of our race and the proper 
cultivation of the arts of industry in the protection of work. Take 
care that you do no injury to the hand of toil. Defraud it not with 
bits of paper. Let nothing so utterly mean disgrace your life. Give 
it service for service, Let the spirit of justice and equity ever pre- 
vail. " Come and see/' A look at the rider on the black horse 
will do you good ; and there is far more in the vision than I am able 
to set forth. This mute rider has many a lesson yet both for the 
Church and the world. 

Thus we see that it is very homely things indeed to which these 
wonderful visions are related ; not to Napoleons, and Csesars, and 
Charlemagnes, but to the practical duties of the Christian life. To 
what else could they relate? Has not the strange imagery with 
which they are presented had much to do in causing us to roam far 
wide of the mark ? 

The beast rising out of the sea. 

Kev., Chapter xiii. 

This solitary Seer is now taken to the sand of the sea ; and from 
the vantage ground of that lonely shore, he looks forth upon the 
tumultuous ocean before him. Out from its rolling waters a grand 
and mysterious vision slowly rises— a mighty creature appears, 
adorned with all the emblems of power and glory. Surely he is 
the perfection of wisdom, strength, and beauty, with his seven heads 
and ten glittering crowns. He is the counterpart of the fourth 
beast, dreadful and terrible, seen by Daniel. Mark what he is like. 
In his general appearance he resembles the leopard — the very per- 
fection of wiliness and cunning. His feet are as the feet of a bear — 
he draws towards him everything good on which he can lay his 
paws. His mouth is as the mouth of a lion — he destroys and 
devours everything that comes in his way. He receives a deadly 



13 

Wound, but it is healed. A mouth is given unto hirn " speaking 
great things.'' He overcomes the saints. He obtains dominion over 
all the earth. The whole world wonders after him. He causeth all 
who buy and sell to receive his mark. He obtains his seat from 
the dragon, and wields from the same source world-wide authority 
and power. 

Could a more perfect picture be drawn of modern Babylon, with 
its splendor and power, rising up in the midst of the sea of human 
life— with its craft and cunning — its insatiable desires — its destruc- 
tion of industry — its deadly panics and " confidence restored" — its 
boastful tongue, the press daily sending forth the unceasing chal- 
lenge, " Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with 
him V — every product of industry and every effort of toil branded 
deeply with its mark — the whole civilised world " wondering " after 
it. and paying it court and homage with a servitude more degrading, 
all things considered, than that of the heathen who prostrates him- 
self before stocks and stones — and the Church of Christ itself laid 
in bondage at its feet. 

Now, has the reader ever really reflected on the enormous wicked- 
ness of what is known by the general name of a paper currency? 
Nothing which the world has yet seen has exceeded it in that re- 
spect, and certainly nothing has approached it as an instrument of 
oppression to the human family. The Jews, in their violation of the 
Mosaic statutes, lent something at any rate which had cost labor, a 
commodity, the produce of toil, gold or silver. They practiced 
simple usury, oppressive enough in its way to excite the anger and 
displeasure of God. But we have quite surpassed the deeds of the 
Jews. What is the lending of bits of paper, the usury of the Chris- 
tian ? How shall we set it forth? It is usury, joined to fraud and 
deceit of the deepest dye. Nothing is lent to industry. Value is re- 
ceived — no value is given. On the contrary, under the pretence of 
lending to industry, and disguised under the boasted name of 
" credit," the fruits of labor are taken without recompense ; and 
through this system of promises (for these promises pass as money 
in payment — that is, they transfer goods) the poor toilers are actually 
compelled to lend, continuously, their hard-earned gains to the 
paper issuers, and to pay at the same time, under the name of " dis- 
count," for the loan of their own means. Could any Christian man, 
for example, call in his neighbours to do a piece of work, to erect a 
barn or build him a house, and then defraud them by giving his 
written promises to pay these tradesmen, and not only thus with- 
hold fpayment, but actually discount these bits of paper at the 
moment he hands them over, well knowing that through the repu- 
tation he has by such means gained as a man of wealth and credit, 
these paper promises would not fail to float continuously from hand 
to hand among the people around him ? Would he not be constantly 
enjoying the use oj the capital of these poor workmen ? and would he 
not be actually causing them to pay 1 under the name of discount, for 
that which is their own ? Would it lessen his guilt one whit were 
he to deceive them with some idle talk about the "specie basis," or 
that he kept a few gold pieces (these very gold pieces the produce of 
toil and the property of labor) for an occasional call? Could any 
terms of condemnation too severe be used towards the man who 
would do such a thing ? Is not this just the character of paper 
currency, of every kind, and by whomsoever issued ? Do you not 
know that your boasted credit system is the getting the fruits of 



14 

l(, 'l into your bands without recompense ?— certainly the meanest 
sort of work the world has yet seen. And has not this system of 
wrong and oppression overspread the whole world? Has not every 
Kingdom on earth " committed fornication " with it? Through its 
instrumentality, the labor of the earth is devoured, and society has 
been broken in pieces (Jeremiah li., 20-23), so that instead of univer- 
sal love, friendship, and goodwill, we have a community, in its 
various grades and castes, bent on devouring and appropriating the 
fruits of toil wherever found ; and in seasons of severe commercial 
panics society presents perhaps as mournful a sight as can be wit- 
nessed in a Christian land. Can humanity flourish, can the heathen 
he brought to knowledge and virtue, with such a system corrupting 
Christianity to its core ? What hope is there for the world so long 
as it remains? No wonder that God has sent us " strong delusion 
that we should believe a lie," and that this terrible system of 
oppression and robbery has exalted itself " above all that is called 
God or that is worshipped.'' I tell you, reader, the hollow mask 
which under the fine names of " specie basis," " redeemable currency," 
and so forth, conceals the hideous features of this paper system, 
must be torn from before the people's eyes that its true character 
may be seen and abhorred by all. The bitter wail of oppressed and 
suffering industry is heard in every street— from every harvest field 
a cry of affliction enters into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth; and 
surely, surely, these are not the times for the ministers and Chris- 
tian Journals of our land to be silent, or, what is worse, to be en- 
deavouring, with all their might, to daub the wall with untempered 
mortar. 

We have here the key to the second vision in this Chapter. The 
beast rising out of the earth with two horns like a lamb as seen by 
John ; and the little horn coming up among the others as seen by 
Daniel ; represent, in its later and gradual growth, this most prom- 
inent and destructive feature of modern Babylon. The dream is 
one. It is since the rise and spread of paper currency that the 
saints have been "worn out," the Church brought into complete 
bondage, and the chains thoroughly riveted on the hands of the 
world's industry. Has anything in the wide earth spoken greater 
or more boastful things than this paper system? There is a most 
significant statement in the Book of Daniel regarding it — it thought 
to change times and laws. The 17th verse in the 13th Chapter of 
Revelation establishes the matter beyond all doubt. What other 
system has ever wielded such power as there described? Literally 
no man can now buy or sell without the mark in a certain sense, for 
every act of exchange must necessarily be tainted and corrupted by 
paper currency, seeing that, by means of its close ally the credit 
system, it has obtained universal dominion over prices. The mark 
reigns supreme in every exchange and in every market throughout 
the world. This currency, this perfect " image " of the beast which 
is now in everybody's hand, was the one thing needed to complete 
the degradation and ruin of industry; and thoughtful men may now 
study its mission and its work. In its craft on the one hand, and in 
the terrible bondage it has brought to enslaved millions on the 
other, it is unquestionably Satan's masterpiece. 

" Behold the tears of such as are oppressed, and they have no com- 
forter : and on the side of their oppressors there is power ; but they 
have no comforter." 



lb 

The Loosening of the Angelt. 

Rev. ix. 13, 14, 15— " And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard 
a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 
Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four 
angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four 
angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and 
a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men." 

Well may all faces gather blackness in presence of this vision, for 
it tells of " a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and 
thick darkness," one of the great and terrible days of the Lord. 

These angels are avenging angels. 

They are a*t present chained or held in check by some mysterious 
power. 

Their mission is a very destructive one. 

They are fully armed with terrible instruments of destruction. 

They are a countless host — " two hundred thousand thousand." 

Their work will be short, sharp, and decisive. 

They are bound in the great river Euphrates — in modern Babylon 
itself. 

They are being " prepared," schooled, for their avenging work. 

I think there can be no doubt whatever that this vision refers to 
that countless host which our modern system of commerce is so 
diligently schooling, even to the degraded millions of our fellow 
creatures whose lives of hard servitude and brutalising toil have 
brought them to about a level with the beasts that perish, a process 
of degradation which every person of the least reflection may per- 
ceive is going forward at a vastly increased rate every succeeding 
year. The labor question is not the question of the day only — it is 
the question of all the ages. I listen to ominous sounds in the dis- 
tance, indications cf the mustering of forces destined to burst over 
society with tremendous violence. The very " horns" which adorn 
the beast and give to it their strength and power, will at last hate 
the whore, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. Who can 
doubt that in the degradation to which countless millions are being 
brought, the system is itself preparing the dreadful instruments for 
its own destruction. Revelation presents them to us as a mighty 
host clad in gleaming armor and armed to the teeth. It is an 
appalling thought. Human power and ingenuity will be of no avail 
in presence of these wild forces when once the restraining hand is 
removed. Those who lead into captivity shall go into captivity — 
those who kill with the sword must be killed with the sword. It is 
in Euphrates itself that these ministers of vengeance must be reared 
and trained. We have had of late years unmistakable indications 
that these angels are struggling to be free. The Paris Commune, 
in at least some of its issues, is a warning of what is approaching on 
a world-wide scale. There is coming a time of trouble such as no 
nation has ever seen. The "days of vengeance" must come. It is 
inevitable. We cannot escape it. It will be emphatically " the 
Lord's release." Men will yet have to choose their side. These 
great questions must ere long cut society clean in twain, and bring 
the soui of every earnest man to the test. The closing portions of 
the book of Revelation recognise but two classes, those with the 
mark of God, and those with the mark of the beast. The flippant 
may scoff, and the wicked do wickedly, but the wise and the true 
hearted shall understand. My own soul melts within me at the 



16 

thought of the sufferings through which the helpless portion of 
humanity has yet to pass on account of this system of cruelty and 
wrong. I tremble whilst I write the sentence, but nothing short of 
some mighty convulsion can deliver industry from its bondage and 
purge the world of its oppressions and sorrows. This is the Arma- 
geddon towards which all the lines of history converge, which is 
the climax of so much prophecy, for which the attentive ear can 
catch the hurry cf vast preparation in every direction, and from which 
the race will take its new departure. 

In this connection, the solemn and impressive address of our 
Saviour contained in the 13th Chapter of Mark assumes a new and 
profound interest. There can be no doubt that He forewarns the 
Church against calamities far wider in their range and far more dis- 
astrous in their results than the destruction of the ancient city of 
Jerusalem. Many cities have been overwhelmed since Jerusalem 
fell. From what is said in the 17th verse we may gather how the 
loving heart of the Saviour was affected as he looked into the dis- 
tant future, and contemplated the awful scene towards which the 
stream of humanity is blindly hurrying. The strangely impressive 
language in which the march of events is set forth finds its 
counterpart in these visions of John and Daniel. Who can doubt 
that the rigor and hard bondage with which humanity has been so 
long made to serve must at last be broken. The generation of men 
shall not pass away till all these things be done. He lays special 
emphasis on the fact that they must be done. And let me ask, as 
pertinent to the matter in hand, if the heathen world is not just as 
much an object of divine care and government as the civilized world? 
To whom much is given, of them shall much be required. Has not 
our modern civilization been tried and found wanting ? What means 
the vast majority of men still toiling on in hopeless despair, and 
sinking lower and lower in the social scale ? What means mul- 
titudes even in their tender years sacrificed to this Moloch?* What 
means the radical and persistent divorce between Capital, so called, 
and the Labor which creates it and imparts to it all its value ? 
What means the world's producers in poverty, its non-producers in 



*" The following facts illustrate the deplorable condition of brickyard 
workers in Leicesterhire and Derbyshire in 1869. Some of the boys 
employed are about eight years old, and each one is engaged carrying from 
40 lbs. to 45 lbs. weight of clay on his head, to the maker, for thirteen hours 
per day, traversing a distance of fourteen miles. The girls employed are 
between nine and ten years of age. They are not engaged carrying clay on 
their heads the whole of the day, but are partly occupied in taking bricks to 
the kiln. Some of the children are in a semi-nude state. Many of them in 
Derbyshire work what is called ' eight hours shifts,' which, reckoning from 
twelve o'clock on Sunday night to twelve o'clock on Saturday night follow- 
ing, make a weekly labour of seventy- two hours. To ascertain really what 
work these children have to do, we must suppose a brickmaker (not over 
quick in his operations) making 3,500 bricks per day. The distance the boy 
or girl has to travel with mould, which weighs 4£lbs., and bricks in it 10£lb., 
one way, and back to the brickmaker with mould only, is upon the average 
twelve yards. This multiplied by 3,500 makes the distance nearly twenty- 
four miles that each child has to walk, every day, carrying this weight with 
it. 

"To see the girls engaged in such work, and at such unseasonable hours, 
mixed up with boys of the roughest class, must convey to the mind some 
idea of the sort of wives, with such training, they will make, and the kind 
of influence they will eventually bring to bear on sooiety." — Mr. George 
Smith of Coalville near Leicester in British Workman. 



IT 

wealth ? What if it should be the Divine purpose that those nations 
which have had such splendid opportunities and yet have so miser- 
ably failed in advancing the cause of humanity, are to yield up the 
sceptre to those now poor and despised, but which will bring forth 
the fruits of the kingdom of God. Never has the world been filled 
with such significant warnings as now. Shall we fail to learn the 
parable of the fig tree putting forth its tender leaves? 

Rev. ix., 1st to 12th verses. 

A careful consideration of the contents of the book of Revelation 
leads me to believe that in the latter days the civilized world will 
be marshalled in two grand divisions, in complete antagonism to 
each other, the one distinguished, in Scripture phrase, by the mark 
of the beast, the other by the seal of God in the forehead. These 
verses of the ninth chapter evidently point to a work preparatory to 
that which follows the sixth trumpet, and all immediately antece- 
dent to the final destruction set forth in the 18th chapter. 1 gather 
from these verses that the system is destined to receive some terrible 
scourgings beyond anything which has yet been witnessed ; not 
times of ordinary " panic," but of commercial and industrial suffer- 
ings so great and persistent that men, as we are told, shall seek 
death and shall not find it, and shall desire to die and death shall 
tiee from them. Babylon is capable of bringing forth a state of 
society beyond anything of which we have yet dreamed. With all 
moral restraints gone, and the ordinary relationships of life and 
society set at naught ; with the earth trodden down and broken in 
pieces under the heel of this mysterious power ; and filled, in addi- 
tion, with that violence and crime which is ever the fruit of industrial 
oppression, and especially of that form of it which is the feature of 
our times ; with the dark and terrible catalogue of crime and wicked- 
ness fully realised which is to distinguish the last days and perilous 
times spoken of by the Apostle Paul ; the language seems not in- 
appropriate which sets forth a condition of public anarchy and 
suffering so great, that many of the children of men will earnestly 
long for the approach of the last enemy, and the rider on the pale 
horse will for once seem to forget his commission, and turn his 
back upon those who would gladly fall beneath his stroke. 

The Fourth Kingdom of Daniel. 

Dan. vii. 7—" After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a 
fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly ; and it 
had great iron teeth : it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped 
the residue with the feet of it : and it was diverse from all the beasts 
that were before it ; and it had ten horns." 

Dan. vii. 23— " Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth 
kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and 
shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down and break it 
in pieces." 

Could any language, or any vision, more appropriately set forth 
the destructive work of modern Babylon, a kingdom unique in itself 
or diverse from all others, and whose mission is to devour the whole 
earth, tread it down, and break it in pieces. This is the fourth 
kingdom as seen by Daniel. It presents to the full every charac- 
teristic of this vision. No other kingdom that the world has ever 



18 

Been has so fulfilled all these conditions. The language could not 
be applied to any other kingdon. It can be applied wiih all truth 
to this. There cannot be room even for a doubt on the subject. 
This kingdom has claimed and exercised a cruel aud despotic jurisdic- 
tion over the industry and traffic of the whole world. The other 
kingdoms are prolonged for a season — this is completely destroyed 
and given to the burning flame. The work of the horn (to which 
I have already referred) before which three of the others fell, which 
also was unique or diverse from the others, which spoke great words 
against the Most High, which wore out the saints, and which even 
thought to change times and laws, is the work which fills up the 
measure of the iniquity of this kingdom, and at last brings upon it 
the swift destruction witnessed by Daniel in the august and mag- 
nificent judgment scene made to pass before his view. 

How intensely interesting is the thought that the world is approach- 
ing the period represented in this solemn vision; that the afflictions 
and sorrows of countless millions will be all fully requited at no dis- 
tant date, and that the judgment to be executed upon this world-wide 
and heartless system of oppression is immediately to precede the full 
establishment of the kingdom of " one like the Son of Man," whose 
dominion is an everlasting dominion, never to pass away or be 
destroyed. 

I regard the latter half of the eleventh chapter of Daniel as a 
revelation, more in detail, of the growth and work of modern Babylon. 
Let the reader carefully ponder it. Has not the sanctuary been 
polluted, and the abomination that maketh desolate placed therein? 
"The abomination that maketh desolate " i3 a phrase exceedingly 
expressive of the far reaching and desolating effects of an evil work 
that stretches its dominion over all the earth, which has effectually 
arrested the daily sacrifice that industry would otherwise place upon 
the altar of God, and before which human labor in all its efforts aad 
resources is constantly blasted and withered. Also compare Dan. 
xii. 1 with Mark xiii. 14, 19, 20. 

In truth, do we not arrive at a grand conception of what human 
labor really is, of its dignity and destiny, when we reflect that it is 
the daily sacrifice of toil which is destined, in the providence of God, 
to carry the Gospel and civilization to the ends of the earth. There 
must be sacrifice and service. And thus will men bless and benefit 
their fellows. But modern Babylon has thoroughly arrested this 
mighty stream of christian industrial beneficence. The daily sacrifice 
has # been taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate 
erected in its stead. 

The destruction of Modern Babylon. 

Rev. chapter xviii. 

I put my shoes from off my feet as I approach this solemn scene. 
1 stand in awe in presence of this most vivid and incomparable 
description of the fall of by far the mightiest monarchy which has 
ever trampled down the rights and liberties of mankind, a monarchy 
by the great modern Euphrates of which ruthless and despotic 
Babylon of old was but a faint emblem. It is impossible to mistake 
the meaning of this prophecy. Every separate verse ring3 forth the 
doom of that system under which industry has so long groaned, and 
which has received so many shakings and warnings from the hands 



id 

of an offended God. Proud Babylon will ere long be smitten to the 
dust. Any words of mine would but detract from the grandeur of 
the scene. Let us therefore silently adore as we contemplate this 
majestic vision passing in review before our gaze. 

I have thus referred to the more prominent of some of the visions 
bearing upon this stupendous system of evil. The Scriptures teem 
with minor references to the subject. As in the case of the dream 
of Pharoah the vision was repeated, so these visions are repeated, 
but with greater frequency, even as the impending judgments are 
to be on a scale of far greater magnitude. God would thus have 
us give good heed. In these ancient prophecies there are indeed 
solemn words and warnings to the pastors and shepherds of the 
present day. — Ezekiel xxxiv. 

It cannot but excite the deepest emotion in every christian mind 
to consider that in all probability we are drawing near the period 
represented by the sixth and seventh trumpets and the sixth and 
seventh vials. I have already said that I believe the system to 
which I have referred these prophetic visions is capable of bringing 
forth evils of even greater magnitude than those with which it has 
already afflicted our race. May we not therefore conclude that it 
is in the light of what has yet to be revealed that certain other 
visions, at present obscure ; must be interpreted in the future. 

I will now conclude with a few general reflections. 

I have urged the importance of the proper study of political 
economy. It may be said with truth that all the great interests of 
humanity are embraced, more or less, in this science. Around all 
that is represented by Labor, Value, Money and Exchange, it ever 
throws the protection of its benign and salutary laws. It stands 
as a vigilant sentinel at the threshold of every man's home, and 
guards with jealous care the rewards of his daily toil. It regards 
every human being as a laborer, and deals to him the fruits and the 
fruits only of his toil. It settles all claims and distributes all its 
rewards on the single foundation of labor, and of value as springing 
from that labor. Rightly interpreted it becomes the basis of national 
strength and affords a secure guarantee for human elevation and 
progress. It is not opposed to the divine principles of charity and 
love, of neighborliness and goodwill, but rather courts their pre- 
sence and seeks that they may be incorporated with it.* And so, 
every man born into the world stands in immediate relation to this 
science, and is placed under the necessity of comprehending its 
laws if he would become a good member of society and guard at 
once his own rights and the rights of others. Of many things we 
may remain in ignorance and be not much the worse. But we dare 
not remain in ignorance of the laws of political economy. They 
have a scourge in their hands which sooner or later will be applied 
to the community which persistently turns a deaf ear to the " instruc- 
tion of wisdom, justice, judgment and equity. 1 ' The great problem 
of Human Society itself can only be unravelled as we comprehend 



* See an original and suggestive paper, by the Hon. T. Wharton Collens 
of New Orleans, read before the Academy of Sciences of that city, entitled 
" Charity as a scientific principle in political economy. " Mr. Collens has 
given much attention to the labor question and I would earnestly recom- 
mend this thoughtful treatise from his pen, ' 



20 

these laws. We may depend upon it that as there is, between two 
parties, a mutual profit and advantage in a free exchange of value 
for vahie, so there must be a mutual loss, when, either through 
ignorance or design, this law is violated, the one in the product of 
his labor, the other in that for which no product of labor can ever 
compensate. I have the clearest conviction that every man, in 
receiving labor or the fruits of labor from his fellows, is bound, as a 
matter of conscience, to restore an equivalent in personal service or 
the fruits of labor, and this at once in order to preserve that equity 
which is the life of all exchange, and to secure that blessing without 
which all industrial efforts must prove eventually in vain. We 
labor in order to obtain certain true satisfactions, and these satis- 
factions will never come when equity is violated. The man who 
proposes to live from the produce of his own labor, or who, in this 
corrupt and tangled state, does his best to do so, need never be 
afraid to face the laws of political economy. Though their logic is 
severe, they will give to him all he can possibly demand. Those 
who propose to live from the produce of the toil of others had bet- 
ter have as little as possible to do with these laws. 

There can be no doubt that people have generally now lost the 
conception of labor as the true source of wealth, and that their ideas 
on the subject have been transferred to money as the source of 
production and profit. It seems hardly conceivable that an error so 
transparent could ever have become seated in the public mind. But I 
do not err in stating that multitudes of educated persons, as well as 
numerous teachers of political economy, have been carried away 
with these popular delusions. How widely spread is the notion, for 
example, that money produces interest. Indeed, the modern money 
system could never have been exalted to its present position bad such 
ideas not prevailed. Truth has been pushed into the background ; 
and the all but universal error as to money being the source of 
wealth seems to have floated to the surface and kept its place amidst 
the wreck of loose material out of which the modern system is 
constructed. It has been my endeavour to bring labor to the front 
and to give to it the true place among the economies. One of 
America's keenest thinkers has struck the key note of my writings 
when he states, in a full review with w T hich he has honored me, that 
I " bring everything in political economy to the best of its relation 
to labor." ' Tis there all our reasoning must begin. 

But have we not to consider a deeper delusion, and a more de- 
structive error, connected with this matter ? Is it not the case that 
multitudes of intelligent persons have come to transfer their ideas 
regarding money from the money itself to the pieces of paper on 
which somebody has inscribed a promise to-pay money or to pay his 
debt ? Is it not true that there is a general determination to regard 
these fragments of paper as real money? How otherwise can we 
explain, not alone their general use, but their frequent propagation 
as legal tenders in exchange ? Into what a perfect chaos has the 
mind descended — in what a ''strong delusion" does it rest — which can 
perceive no difference between money and a bit of paper on which 
some one has inscribed the fact that he owes a certain sum for labor 
made over to him, or for value received, and is moreover not ashamed 
to let the world know that he intends to profit by that fact — the very 
evidence of an unpaid obligation, debt itself, exalted to the position 
of gold and silver ! And yet this is not to be much wondered at. A 
paper school of political economy has long sought to rule and 



21 

regulate the fair domain, and has but too successfully sown it broad- 
cast with corrupt seed. Paper, interest, and credit, the three myths 
of modern traffic, are its chief pillars. It is not surprising that in 
endeavouring to rear the rickety superstructure, the paper expounders 
have often found themselves doomed to wander " in endless mazes 
lost." Over some of the deeper questions of political economy, men 
may well pause and ponder, and mayhap go astray. But it is painful 
beyond measure to observe that economists without number have as 
much faith in these three myths as the child has in his fairy tale. 
The public mind may be said to have completely given way under 
the strain of wearisome and endless propositions, not one of which, 
when put to the test, is able for a moment to withstand the cold 
touch of reason, and to have settled down into the conviction that 
what seems so difficult to explain, and so confusing to the 
economists themselves, it is hopeless ever to expect to understand. 

It may be proper to remind the reader that I never treat of 
accumulated wealth in so far as that wealth is spent by its owner 
merely for purposes of personal gratification. I have taken it into 
consideration only as it affects the resources of industry, or violates 
in its use the laws of political economy. There is here a dividing 
line, absolute and easily determined ; and the enquirer who fails to 
perceive this line will not only certainly go astray, but may imagine 
that he has found satisfactory justification for a system whose work 
is only evil continually. 

It is worthy of special note that the subjects discussed are of the 
deepest importance to the Church and to the cause of missions, 
inasmuch as they have a direct bearing on the progress of truth and 
righteousness throughout the earth. It is in this connection that 
the subject takes us into a field of intense interest and of almost 
boundless investigation. The Church is in full accord with the 
modern mercantile system, and so far is in full alliance with by far 
the most terrible "system of oppression which the world has ever 
seen. Sooner or later the Church will have to face the labor ques- 
tion. That question will, in more ways than one, prove tne most 
difficult problem with which it has ever had to deal. By active 
participation in this long and constant oppression of labor, it has 
aided in keeping the masses in a helpless state of poverty, and has 
thus prevented the resources of industry being so developed as to 
bear upon the elevation and progress of mankind. * The guilt of the 



* See an admirable Tract by Ira Steward, entitled "Poverty," issued 
by the Boston Eight Hour League. This paper will well repay perusal. It 
is one of the best things I have seen on the labor question. I have only 
room for the following extracts: "The Law of supply and demand is said 
to regulate the price of commodities ; but the '• demand " is limited by the 
great fact of the poverty of the mass of consumers. There never was a mar- 
ket so overstocked with goods that it would have taken a day to empty it, 
if all the people had been able to pay for all they ought to'have. ' A glut in 
the market' has never yet meant anything more than that'millions of people 
are too poor to pay for the food, clothes, houses, books, and opportunities that 
&re waiting for customers. Poverty obstructs the demand. In the last 
analysis, it is largely a question of poverty." Mr. Steward's little pamphlet 
is full of noble reflections. Witness the following : " But the service per- 
formed by a menial, in livery perhaps, disappears with poverty. Neither 
master nor servant have any place in the political economy that plans the 
annihilation of poverty. Men will be better served without servants ; a 
better living will be earned without masters, when the kno ivledge that dis- 
poses of poverty has also harnessed into the service of man the great and 
obedient forces of nature. These are the services that can be rendered and 



Church in this respect ha3 been very great. It has been an active 
partner in the darkest conspiracy ever formed by powers of evil 
against the liberties and happiness of our race. Civilization in a 
true sense, and the reclamation of the heathen world, can never be 
accomplished under a state of things in which the multitudes 
struggle with constant poverty, and the few are exalted to wealth 
and power. Money, to be effectually used as an instrument in the 
conversion of the heathen, must be first consecrated by the hand of toil. 
I understand the force of my words when I say that it is impossible 
so great and good a work can be successfully accomplished by our 
modern society as now constituted. Tt is no wonder that the masses 
have drifted into a state of semi infidelity, and have learned to 
regard the pulpit either with suspicion or indifference. But these 
questions will ere long press upon the Church with an urgency which 
it will not be able to resist, the scales will at last drop from its eyes, 
and it will awake to a sense of its sin and its shame. It will have 
to go down and take sides with those who are now the lowest of 
the population, with those who, by their daily toil, produce for us 
all the necessaries, comforts, and elegancies of life. The ministers of 
religion may thus see what sort of work they have before them. In 
this modern mercantile system they have to confront an enemy more 
powerful, unrelenting, and determined than heathenism itself- — a 
field of conflict on which thorough moral heroism is destined yet to 
win some of its brightest laurels. Let us not flatter ourselves with 
the delusion that the days of persecution have passed away never to 
return. The issue will ever be the same when Christianity comes 
in conflict with a vast system of error and evil. 

It has been anything but a pleasant task for me to throw myselt 
in conflict with the cherished maxims and opinions of my fellow 
men. I trust I can say that nothing but a supreme regard for truth 
on the one hand, and of compassion for toiling and suffering 
multitudes on the other, could have induced me voluntarily to occupy 
a position the pain of which can be known only to those who have 
passed through a similar experience. And yet, with all this, I bless 
God that the investigation of these truths has for many years been 
to me a source of the purest happiness and satisfaction. I 
suppose subsequent investigators in the same field will find the 
bitter and the sweet strangly commingled. I would say to all such 
that the great truths they are in search of will not be found on the 
world's beaten highway. They must in solitude and silence, and 
with the patience of the watcher who scans the midnight heavens, 
and with something of the same range of vision, think out for them- 
selves those stupendous problems in which are bound up the 
destinies of our race. And instead of the subject becoming, what 
so many conceive it to be, one of dry and uninteresting details, 
they will find themselves not only expatiating in one of the most 
interesting fields of thought, but will have a key put in*o their 
hands with which to unlock some of the deepest mysteries of 
divine revelation. For myself, I would crave the reader to be 
indulgent towards all defects in matter or style, and to remember 



accepted, without compromising the dignity and manhood of a single human 
being." 

" The Laws of the original Church were avowedly so planned by Moses, 
both as to the prevention and relief of poverty, that, if obeyed, there could 
not have been any permanently poor cla^s." — E. H. Rogers in Appeal of the 
Christian Labor Union of Boston. 



23 

that in this Vast; and untrodden field, I have not had the advantage 
of any previous literature as an aid or guide. It has been necessary 
also, in the interests of truth, to say some pretty hard things 
regarding our modern commercial system. Now once for all, let it 
be understood that I blame not men, but the system. It would be silly 
prejudice on my part to ignore the fact that multitudes of our best 
citizens — honorable, high-minded, true-hearted men, and leaders in 
many a good enterprise — are involved in it, all unconscious of those 
great afflictions which it brings in its train. And yet who can deny 
that the subject comes with terrible questionings to the soul of every 
man who is determined to be guided in all his dealings by the strict 
principles of justice and equity. 

In saying this much, however, we must not be blind to the fact 
that there are multitudes who deliberately shut their eyes, and will 
ever keep them shut, against the entrance of the light. What 
passes daily before them is in their estimation the sum and 
substance of all knowledge. The great world of thought beyond is to 
them a phantom region into which they have no wish to penetrate. 
Like Demetrius, the silver-smith of Ephesus, it is sufficient for them 
to know that by this craft they have their wealth. Doubtless that sort 
of reasoning will carry people as far nowadays as in the time of 
Demetrius. And so they grope on, as their fathers did before them, 
in the midst of a darkness which has become to them a sort of second 
nature, content to believe that humanity revolves in its appointed 
orbit, and that to look out of the circle in which they move and have 
their being would be impiety itself and worse than useless. No 
wonder, then, that divine revelation declares to us, in one of the 
mostaffecting scenes of its closing testimony, that the great majority 
of men will, in the midst of a fancied security and shrouded by that 
darkness in which a blind and eager devotion to wealth never fails to 
wrap the soul, be overtaken by that dreadful day which, though it is 
destined to witness the fruits of industry involved in a common 
ruin, will at the same time for ever break the power of the 
oppressor. 

It has been my privilege, within these few years, to peruse various 
printed documents and periodicals from the hands of working men, 
most of them full of vigorous and original thinking, and unstained 
by anything calculated to offend the most fastidious taste. I rejoice 
in these evidences that a time is coming when educated working 
men will take'hold of the literature of the day, and redeem the press 
from that degrading servitude to mammon, to fiction, and to trifles, 
which has been so long and so largely its characteristic. The 
modern mercantile system has had a most faithful ally in the modern 
newspaper sheet ; and if the progress of knowledge depended on 
what, with a few rare and noble exceptions, is served up to us in our 
periodical literature with reference to money, banking, finance, 
and kindred subjects, then the case of the working man would be a 
hopeless one indeed, and he would be considered for all time to 
come the fair and legitimate prey of the various " interests " which 
now fatten from his unrequited labors. Let my fellow workers 
remember, in the midst of their mental toil, that we have the high 
honor of helping to lay the foundation of an empire of industry 
broad and lasting as humanity itself, and whose very corner stones 
are Righteousness and Truth, and that it would therefore ill become 
us to lose patience in so great a work. Sufficient for us if we are 
privileged to lay a few goodly stones destined eventually to carry so 



24 

fair a superstructure. The great Teacher himself sets forth the order 
of progression— -first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn 
in the ear. And if any earnest reader should desire to cast in his 
lot with us, we would tell him that the blessing of him who is ready 
to perish will come upon him, a distinction with which all the 
baubles of earth are not worthy of being once compared. 

Men of heroic and consecrated hearts 1 I call you to this work. 
The cry of suffering humanity is the voice of God. Enter, I beseech 
you, on these whitening fields, that you may receive wages and 
gather fruit unto life eternal. 

And now, in leaving these high and august themes, I would 
desire with mingled feelings of humility and gratitude to lay these 
and preceding pages at the feet of my divine Master and Lord, 
praying Him to forgive all errors and shortcomings which mar my 
work, to bless whatever may be in accordance with truth, and to 
hasten the day when His threateniugs against great Babylon shall 
be all fulfilled. 



WORKS ON THE LABOR AND MONEY 
QUESTIONS.— By William Brown. 

1. Thoughts on Paper Currency and Lending on Interest, as 
affecting the prosperity of Labor, Commerce, and Manufactures, 247 
pages, 75 cents. 

2. A New Catechism on Political Economy, 68 pages, 25 cent3. 

3. No Fund in Commerce or Labor for Lending on Interest, 11 
pages, 10 cents. 

4. The Church, our Modern System of Commerce, and the fulfil- 
ment of Prophecy, 24 pages, 10 cents. 

Published by John Lovell, Montreal, and Rouse's Point, N.Y. 

The "Thoughts," bound in cloth, can also be had from Messrs. 
Sampson Low & Co., London, price 5s. 

Nos. 3 and 4 can be had in quantities at low rates for distribution, 
by applying to Mr. Lovell as above. The author would earnestly 
appeal to all who feel interested in the subject to aid him in the 
circulation of the above works. Those who desire to address him 
personally with their orders may do so to Cote-des-Neiges P.O., near 
Montreal. 

Note. — It is due to $tose readers who have taken the trouble to 
read the " Thoughts " to state, that up to the time of the publication 
of that work, the author had devoted his attention almost exclu- 
sively to the two great branches of the subject included under the 
terms Interest and Money. Into capital, as r such, or so-called, he 
had made little investigation. When it crossed his path he simply 
adopted and expressed the popular ideas. To complete the harmony 
of the subject, he found it necessary to institute a critical examina- 
tion of the claims set up in behalf of capital. The reader will 
therefore please to regard his sentiments on this branch so far as 
they are set forth in the later productions noted above.